The beauty of Japan’s Imperial Palace, especially of its gardens, has long mesmerized people young and old who have visited it in Kyoto. Such was the case with painter and architect Eizo Kinoshita, whose hobby is to go to places where the history of the country’s Edo Period could still be seen, like the Palace itself. But for those who haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the lush gardens of the Imperial Palace, Kinoshita’s new book will make you feel like you are strolling along the East Garden yourself.
The “Kokyo Higashi Gyoen no Somoku Cho” (Book of the plants of the Imperial Palace East Gardens), Kinoshito’s picture collection book is a product of three years of visiting the gardens weekly to sketch the numerous varieties of plants found there. Aside from the plant sketches, he also included a short description of it for the reader to better identify the plant. “I want it to be an opportunity for people to enjoy the bounteous nature of the Imperial Palace in the heart of the big city,” said the 63-year old architect. His interest in recording the more than 1,000 types of flowers, plants and fruits in the garden was piqued when on one of his visits, a former employee of the Imperial Household Agency’s Garden Division and a volunteer Imperial Palace guide taught him about the plants and its different traits that would make them easily identifiable. “By memorizing the names of the plants, I was able to intimately feel the Imperial Palace’s wealth of nature and the close connection between the vegetation and people’s lifestyles,” he said.
The book has been published by Gijutsu-Hyohron Co. and is sold at ¥1,880 ($18.50) a piece. Kinoshita hopes that people who would buy the book would use it to enjoy their time touring the East Gardens. “I’m not an expert, so I’ll be happy if people read this book more as a picture book of plants rather than an illustrated encyclopedia, and use it as an opportunity to enjoy a walk through the area,” he said.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]